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To engage and encourage girls to get interested in and stay interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses and careers.
SMARTgirls was created in 2014 as a student-led organization to keep girls interested in STEM careers and classes. It uses both Summer Camps and After-school programs using hands-on curriculum, professional interaction and field trips to do this. SMARTgirls currently serves 5th-8th grade girls (and boys) of the Wylie Independent School District in Wylie Texas. It serves 3 Intermediate Schools and 3 Junior Highs with approximately 175 students who have gone through the program thus far and approximately 120 more who will come through this summer. SMARTgirls was the vision of one 5th grade girl who created the program as a project for Future Problem Solvers as her individual project and it has grown by leaps and bounds. She qualified a the International level for her contribution to her community and will be competing at Iowa State University this summer for an International Award. When she started the project, she only envisioned a one-week camp, but the interest was so great, that by the end of that week - the idea for the after school club had already been born. With the help of teachers and parent volunteers, the after school club currently meets at three schools with plans to expand.
- Kate Vinson
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